Volume-dependent osmolyte efflux from neural tissues: regulation by G-protein-coupled receptors
Fisher, Stephen K. | Cheema, Tooba A. | Foster, Daniel J. | Heacock, Anne M.
The CNS is particularly vulnerable to reductions in plasma osmolarity, such as occur during hyponatremia, the most commonly encountered electrolyte disorder in clinical practice. In response to a lowered plasma osmolarity, neural cells initially swell but then are able to restore their original volume through the release of osmolytes, both inorganic and organic, and the exit of osmotically obligated water. Given the importance of the maintenance of cell volume within the CNS, mechanisms underlying the release of osmolytes assume major significance. In this context, we review recent evidence obtained from our laboratory and others that indicates that the activation of specific G-protein-coupled receptors can markedly enhance the volume-dependent release of osmolytes from neural cells. Of particular significance is the observation that receptor activation significantly lowers the osmotic threshold at which osmolyte release occurs, thereby facilitating the ability of the cells to respond to small, more physiologically relevant, reductions in osmolarity. The mechanisms underlying G-protein-coupled receptor-mediated osmolyte release and the possibility that this efflux can result in both physiologically beneficial and potentially harmful pathophysiological consequences are discussed.Show more [+] Less [-]